U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, today made the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement to finalize the controversial “waters of the United States” rule.

“The Administration’s cavalier attitude toward expanding the federal government’s authority into our backyards is absolutely outrageous,” said Vitter. “Not only were small businesses – who will be dramatically impacted by expanding of the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ – inappropriately excluded from the rule-making process, but the federal government shouldn’t be regulating puddles on private property in the first place. I will continue to work with my colleagues to reverse and withdraw this rule before the economic devastation begins.”

Vitter sent a letter yesterday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding recent reports that the Agency inappropriately coordinated with outside organizations to build support for WOTUS. EPA worked with environmental groups to develop a taxpayer funded public relations campaign, but has not listened to feedback from the small business community, which is required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Last week, Vitter held a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee hearing to examine how the proposed WOTUS rule would affect small businesses. During the hearing, a representative from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy testified that EPA failed to properly consult small businesses in the rulemaking process. Click here to read more.